Sunday, January 21, 2018

Jason Stokes at helm for Indian Rocks Christian’s playoff run

LARGO — It has certainly been an interesting year for Jason Stokes. In October of last season he resigned as head coach at Gaither after the team was forced to forfeit three games due to the use of two ineligible players.

He landed briefly in the spring at Dixie Hollins as an assistant coach. Prior to the fall season, he became the assistant head coach at Indian Rocks Christian.

Head coach Mark Buchanan was having health issues and by the sixth game of the season Buchanan was forced to step away. Stokes took over and the Golden Eagles ended the regular season 7-2. They begin the playoffs Friday at home against Admiral Farragut.

"It’s kind of like riding a bike," Stokes said about returning to head coaching. "These kids are a lot of fun. And I have a great staff and administration. I think the sky’s the limit around here."

He did have to make one adjustment to his coaching. He spent most of his career at big schools with big rosters. That’s not the case at Class 2A Indian Rocks Christian. He’s had to learn how to squeeze the most out of his players.

"It’s crazy going from 8A where you have 50 or 60 kids to 2A where you have 25 kids and really only 16 play," Stokes said. "It’s really all hands on deck. You have to be a great manager of bodies. You have to keep aware of kids fatiguing, kids getting injured. And you have to manage snaps from Day 1 so that the kids are able to make a playoff run."

Playoff football

All games 7:30 p.m. Friday. Admission is $8.



No. 6 East River at No. 3 Plant

No. 7 Gaither at No. 2 Viera

No. 5 Wiregrass Ranch at No. 4 Lake Nona

No. 8 St. Petersburg at No. 1 Venice

No. 7 Bloomingdale at No. 2 Tampa Bay Tech

No. 6 Palmetto at No. 3 Pinellas Park


No. 6 Barron Collier at No. 3 Largo

No. 8 Clearwater at No. 1 North Fort Myers

No. 7 Chamberlain at No. 2 Mitchell

No. 8 Sebring at No. 1 Armwood

No. 5 Hillsborough at No. 4 Lake Gibson


No. 6 Jesuit at No. 3 Jefferson

No. 7 Tarpon Springs at No. 2 Lakewood

No. 6 Clay at No. 3 Hernando

No. 7 River Ridge at No. 2 Zephyrhills

No. 8 Nature Coast at No.1 Baker County



No. 4 Tampa Catholic at No. 1 Clearwater Central Catholic

No. 3 Calvary Christian at No. 2 Lakeland Christian


No. 4 Southwest Florida Christian at No. 1 Cambridge Christian

No. 3 Admiral Farragut at No. 2 Indian Rocks Christian

No. 4 Zephyrhills Christian at No. 1 Victory Christian


National Hoopfest: St. Petersburg’s Serrel Smith shines in loss to national power

TAMPA — Where there's a will, there's a way. And Serrel Smith had a gym-full of will on Saturday.With St. Petersburg trailing nationally-ranked Oak Hill Academy by as many as 21 points in the third quarter of the National Hoopfest contest, Smit...
Published: 01/20/18

National Hoopfest: Berkeley Prep proves to be no pushover

TAMPA —  Berkeley Prep's four-game win streak came to end Friday.That was expected.The Buccaneers faced West Oaks Academy, an independent powerhouse from Orlando that plays a national schedule, during Friday's National Hoopfest tournament....
Published: 01/19/18

High school scoreboard for Jan. 19

Friday’s scoreboardBoys soccerIndian Rocks Christian 2, Lakewood 1Lennard 3, Spoto 0Girls soccerPCAC Championship: Largo 3, Osceola 1Lennard 8, Spoto 0
Published: 01/19/18
Long-distance appreciation from Guy Toph winner Michael Penix Jr.

Long-distance appreciation from Guy Toph winner Michael Penix Jr.

TAMPA — Being handed the Guy Toph trophy — which has been awarded to Hillsborough County's top football player every year since 1939 — is a pretty big deal.Winners love smiling for photo after photo while holding up the big, old, go...
Published: 01/18/18
Updated: 01/19/18

High school scoreboard for Jan. 18

Thursday’s scoreboardGirls basketballNortheast 64, Largo 24Boys soccerIndian Rocks Chr. 3, Berkeley Prep 2Palm Harbor U. 7, Tarpon Springs 0Girls soccerCountryside 5, Pinellas Park 0Palm Harbor U. 5, Tarpon Springs 1...
Published: 01/18/18

Carrollwood Day cruises past new district foe Seffner Christian

TAMPA – Carrollwood Day moved up to Class 4A this season, which meant it was in the same district as perennial power Seffner Christian. The Patriots made it clear Thursday night that they are the new team to beat.Four Carrollwood players scored...
Published: 01/18/18
New school, same coaching style for Renaldo Garcia

New school, same coaching style for Renaldo Garcia

Berkeley Prep's Renaldo Garcia still is the same coach. He still bellows instructions from the sidelines. His players still are methodical on offense, efficient on defense.The only difference is Garcia now wears navy and Columbia blue instead of gree...
Published: 01/18/18
Gap closing between River Ridge and soccer power Sunlake

Gap closing between River Ridge and soccer power Sunlake

NEW PORT RICHEY — The string of state tournament runs for Sunlake High School has made a great mark for Pasco County boys soccer.But it’s also been kind of a pain for the county teams stuck in the same region as Sunlake. One of them is River Ridge. "...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

High school scoreboard for Jan. 17

Wednesday’s scoreboardBoys basketballBoca Ciega 62, Clearwater 52Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 3, Dunedin 0Girls soccerPalm Harbor U. 5, Dunedin 0
Published: 01/17/18
HomeTeam 25: Boys basketball rankings for Tampa Bay

HomeTeam 25: Boys basketball rankings for Tampa Bay

1. St. Petersburg (11-1)This week: Friday at Osceola; Saturday vs. Oak Hill (Va.) @Berkeley Prep's National HoopfestThe buzz: The Green Devils returned to action last week, beating Palm Harbor University by 33 and Sickles by 10. Guards Serrel Smith a...
Published: 01/17/18